Hill, Holliday Tries Again in N.Y.

Long frustrated in its efforts to make an impact in New York, Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cos mop ulos has again installed new management at the 18-year-old outpost.

Brian Carty, evp, corporate development in the San Francisco office, has been named New York president, the third in six years. He replaces David Wecal, who continues as creative director.

Carty said he will focus on new business and integrating Hill, Holliday’s health care units, core advertising services and newly acquired shop Frankfurt Balkind.

“Carty has a great understanding of the culture of the agency, knows what we are and what we’re not, and knows who we should pursue and who we shouldn’t,” said Mike Sheehan, president of the Interpublic Group shop’s U.S. operations.

Historically, the New York office has struggled in the shadow of the Boston headquarters. Both the 1996 purchase of Omnicom shop Altschiller and the July acquisition of independent Frankfurt Balkind were meant to add critical mass, established talent and local credibility. Altschiller’s integration yielded mixed results, and it is too early to tell what Frankfurt Balkind’s impact will be.

In 2001, New York revenue and billings each declined about 7 percent, to $13 million and $87 million. The outpost is still languishing. Priceline, long the flagship client, cut spending from $90 million in 2000 to $5 million in the first half of 2002 be fore moving in-house in May. Since adding an esti mated $25 million in work from Verizon Wireless and LG Electronics last year, the office has been largely invisible in terms of new-business activity.

In April it was part of an IPG team that won $90 million in business from Price waterhouse Coop ers, but that dried up last month when new parent IBM shifted the account to Ogilvy & Mather. The office won medical technology firm Radiancy a few weeks ago; billings are undisclosed.

Carty joined Hill, Holliday’s Bos ton headquarters in 1995. He was integral to a growth spurt that saw an 85 percent jump in Boston billings to $610 million by 2000, when he left to run Web marketing firm Wheelhouse. He rejoined the shop this summer.

Wecal, 44, said of Carty, “He’s an account person, and I’m a creative person. That’s a good balance.”